Colas is set to start trialling its innovative solar road solution, Wattway, and is in the process of identifying potential sites with clients interested in the world’s first ever photovoltaic road surfacing.

The innovative technology provides clean, renewable energy in the form of electricity, while allowing for all types of road traffic. Installed on top of an existing road surface, the solar panels are extremely lightweight and strong.

Carl Fergusson, Colas Executive Director Strategy & Development, said: “Without doubt this is an extremely exciting time for the industry and we are looking for a number of forward-thinking clients who are interested in running Wattway trials with us. The UK trials will form part of about 100 trials taking place world-wide.”

Designed and tested to endure vehicles continuously passing over the surface, the panels are only 7mm thick and are applied on the surface by using a high performance resin. A glass bead resin coating is also applied to allow the surface to provide acceptable frictional performance without significantly affecting the solar panels efficiency.

The power generated by Wattway has the potential to be used for highways and transportation infrastructure, such as Variable Message Signs and streetlights, but also could be returned to the grid or used to supply energy to nearby homes and businesses.

Anyone interested in taking part in the trials or to find out more information, please email: project.engineering@colas.co.uk.